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    ECI orders take down of BJP Karnataka video from X

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) on May 7 directed X, formerly Twitter, to take down an objectionable animated video shared by the Karnataka BJP handle. X was previously asked to take down the video by the Cyber Crime Division of Bengaluru Police on May 5 after an FIR was filed. On observing no action, the ECI wrote to Twitter’s assigned nodal officer .

    The video was shared on May 4 during the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka that ended on May 7. It depicted a caricature of Rahul Gandhi and implied his favoring Muslim voters.

    In its letter to X, the ECI stated that the post was violative of the “extant legal framework”. The letter from the Cyber Crime Division detailed that the video violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) enforced during the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 and Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, (RP Act),1951. MCC warns parties against promoting  “feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language” and the RP Act deems causing “tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic”, a corrupt practice.



    The ECI asked X to take down the video as per Section 79(3)(b) of Information Technology Act,2000 that makes a social media intermediary like X liable, if it “fails to expeditiously remove or disable access” to remove a post that is deemed by a Government agency. It also invoked rule 3(1)(d) of The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 which mandates that social media platforms must not host any content that is deemed as “incitement to an offence” relating to matters of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, public order and decency or morality by a Government agency.

    X’s previous disagreements with the ECI

    In the past, X has disagreed with ECI’s takedown orders. Particularly, it opposed the ECI’s order to takedown certain posts containing political speech shared by elected politicians, political parties and candidates. X stated in an article:

    “In compliance with the orders, we have withheld these posts for the remainder of the election period; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts and political speech in general”

    X also shared the takedown orders publicly and called for transparency by the ECI regarding such actions.

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    The post ECI orders take down of BJP Karnataka video from X appeared first on MediaNama.

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